Character actor Michael O'Neill gathered a quite formidable track record of television and film credits after his first onscreen job in 1981. Yet neither his face nor his name are widely-known, with his reputation resting upon a stock in trade of upright, white-collar men playing supporting roles to the lead characters, whose dependability or otherwise often leads them into conflict. His first reasonably high-profile role remained one of his career highs, as a family man and suspected murderer opposite Al Pacino in the crime drama "Sea of Love"(1989). He was also a familiar face as Special Agent Butterfield, President Bartlet's bodyguard on "The West Wing" (NBC 1999-2006), and as murdered CTU Richard Walsh in the first season of the terrorist thriller "24" (Fox 2001-2010). Raised in Montgomery, Alabama, O'Neill was educated at the state's Auburn University and went on to pursue his acting career in New York City. Yet his onscreen career remain sparse until he was nearly forty years of age, when the "Sea of Love" role saw casting directors become familiar with his name and abilities. Over the years his talents and skill at playing men in mid-level official positions would see him act in television shows including science fiction cult favorite "The X-Files" (Fox 1993-2002), hospital drama "ER" (1994-2009) and "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC 2005- ), the latter in a standout performance as a bereaved shooter who goes on a hospital rampage. His film roles include the Nick Nolte drama "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992), horse racing period piece "Seabiscuit" (2003), blockbuster "Transformers" (2007) and the biopic "J. Edgar" (2011).
Cast (Feature Film)
Visual Effects (Feature Film)
Debut film appearance in "Ghost Story"
Film appearance in "Sea of Love"
Debut television appearance in ABC's "H.E.L.P."
Recurring television role in NBC's "The West Wing"
Film appearance in "Traffic"
Film appearance in "Seabiscuit"
Film appearance in "Transformers"
Recurring television role in ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"